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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I'm running a marathon in 4 weeks time and I went out on Monday for what was gonna be my last 20 mile run. I ran my first ever 20 miles fine on August 25th but this time it was awful.

I was tired, heavy sore legs, possibly dehydrated. I just couldn't seem to get into and subsequently had to stop at 15 miles and run/walk the rest of the way home.

With this being my first marathon I'm keen to do well so my question is should I attempt another 20 miles this coming weekend and then start my tapering or should I start reducing my miles now and just hope for the best??

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!
 

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Welcome to RF.

As you did 15m this weekend and you have 4 weeks to go I would say you should have a go at a 20m run this weekend....take it nice and slow...have plenty of liquid on you.

Don't worry if you have to stop every now and then,it is a training effort after all.

Which marathon?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Steve! It seems like a cool forum. Lots of nice features.

Thanks for the advice. I usually take a bottle of Lucozade and a few gels with me. I'm gonna make sure I'm well hydrated before hand as well as I think that was part of the problem.

I'm doing the Chicago Marathon. Traveling from Scotland so it's a bit of a holiday as well!
 

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I did that in 2002 with SWMBO...earlyish start there. Good course I seem to remember.

Was the start of a 2 week holiday for us....will you be Stateside long?

Are you training with anyone? Might help you get through the long run. If not can you get someone to cycle alongside? They could then carry extra drink etc for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeh, it's an 8am kick off. I've heard it's quite flat and a good one for your first.

I'm going from Wednesday to Wednesday so just a week. I just moved cities for college so don't really have the advantage of a running buddy or anything.

On my last few long runs I've been taking Lucozade gels and a bottle of Lucozade with me but today I decided to try Go Gels as I heard they were actually palatable. Should I just take water along with me or would a sports drink help too? I've heard they don't really work well together so I'm not sure.

Sorry I'm such a newbie!
 

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Do you know what is going to be available on race day? If so try that before you go and see if it suits you.

I don't like gels myself so rely on Lucozade...or other sports drinks...Tescos do a cheaper isotonic drink which goes down well....and water.

Whilst you need to drink enough so as not to dehydrate you shouldn't drink too much either.

Do you like jelly babies? If so carry a few...instant sugar kick.

If you have no training buddy another idea is to drive/cycle your planned training route and drop off/hide some water at various points so that you don't have to carry full bottles with you all the way.

Don't worry about asking questions...we all do..newbie or otherwise!

Have you a target time for Chicago?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Gatorade is going to be the drink on the day. I've tried it a few times in training and it seems to agree with me fine.

My aim is to just finish really! I think it's gonna be a sub 5 hour job though.

I think on my 20 miler at the weekend I'm gonna go out with those 3 SiS Go Gels and 750ml of water instead of a sports drink. They can get quite sickly after a while.

Thanks for all your help Steve, I'll let you know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, tried another 20 miler and it was absolutely disastrous to say the least. The whole thing was a run/walk job and took me the best part of 4.5 hours. It was AWFUL.

I 100% think I've bit off way more than I can chew.

I keep reminding myself that I've ran 20 miler before even if it was back in August. I just hope it all comes together on race day or I'm gonna be devastated to say the least.
 

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sorry to hear that Vicky.. what marathon training schedule are you using?
 

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You can still do it.

The marathon course will be lined with people cheering and shouting - it really doesn't compare with a lonely 20 mile training run. You'll be buzzing with energy and excitement.

As a veteran of...erm...one marathon my "expert" advice would be:

Forget the bad training runs - they're in the past and you can't change them now.

Focus on your preparation from now until the big day.

Start out SLOWLY - even if it feels like everyone is going past you - ignore them and run well within yourself for the first 25 miles or so (save a bit for a sprint finish).

To take a bit of the pressure off - have a get out clause: Tell friends and family that your training hasn't gone to plan but you've booked the flights etc. so you might as well just have a go at the first half, sample the atmosphere etc....

Don't take any notice of the above - of course you're going to finish.;)

Expect a lot of discomfort


Hope it goes well.

Slowsteve
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm using a plan on Runnersworld.co.uk and sorta editing it to fit in with my busy student lifestyle :p

I'm gonna attempt a 16 miler this coming weekend and then a 10 the week after as my long runs. I'm trying to keep telling myself that I've put loads of hard work in over the past 4/5 months and it's gonna happen on the day.

The 20 miler I did manage went amazing, I felt great the whole way round. I just dunno what's going wrong now!

I think I'm gonna go back to the Lucozade gels though, they seemed to work better for me.
 

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what are your midweek runs like...

I could be wrong but it sounds like you haven't got enough of the 'building block' runs to support the 20 milers.

If this is your first marathon I wouldn't get too stressed about it. The following two long weekend runs sound ok. Don't stress about the pace of them, just get the miles in.

And try and stick to the schedule during the week.

As for the marathon itself... what (big daddy) slowsteve said... and enjoy the event
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeh you could be right Trinity. In fact, you probably are.

The schedule says to do only two mid week runs. I've tried to do 3 but it's hard fitting them in with class, studying, work and the all important socialising.

I'm definitely gonna train "hard" the next few weeks. I know my fitness wont increase much in three weeks but I'm sure it'll make me feel a lot better mentally.
 

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ok... at least you realise where the problem is... ready for the next marathon training schedule ;)

Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to targets in marathon training.

As for the next few weeks... don't try and catch up anything or you will risk injury. Just keep training as the schedule says but don't overdo it if you can't match the targetted pace.

The goal now is to get to the start line in as good a condition as you can, and to get you to the finish line in one piece. You can achieve that, don't worry.

The last week before the marathon will be very light training just to keep your legs ticking over, lots of sleep, as much rest as you can get and towards the second part of the week loading with carbs ready for the marathon.

keep posting in here over the next few weeks... as a veteran of around 30 marathons I'll help you all I can. I've got another friend running Chicago too, and she's been my inspiration recently so it's kinda nice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thank you both for your words of encouragement. They've made me feel a lot more positive!

What do you think the chance of me being able to run the whole thing are? I'm not really looking for a time, just to finish...running will do me!

I'm going for a 3 mile jaunt today and then I'm gonna fit in a 5 and an 8 later on in the week. See how they go!

Oh and Trinity, I'm sure there will be a next. I'm determined to train over Winter for a Spring marathon.
 

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Thank you both for your words of encouragement. They've made me feel a lot more positive!

What do you think the chance of me being able to run the whole thing are? I'm not really looking for a time, just to finish...running will do me!

I'm going for a 3 mile jaunt today and then I'm gonna fit in a 5 and an 8 later on in the week. See how they go!

Oh and Trinity, I'm sure there will be a next. I'm determined to train over Winter for a Spring marathon.
Hey Vicky... I've found the 'Track your runner' thing for Chicago, I'm tracking my other friend and it'd be great to see how you're going in the marathon too...so I can send positive supporting vibes during the event :)

I'll need your surname though... send it via a PM, although I don't mind if you'd rather not
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So far this week I've done a 3, a 6 and an 8 mile run. The 8 miles yesterday was really really good. Once I warmed up and got into the groove I felt amazing.

I'll post again when I've done my 16 miler this weekend.

Thanks again for your support :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Back from the 16 miler, so that's that one in the bag!

Got completed soaked though and broke my headphones cause of all the water.

Another 3, 6 and 8 this week then 10 at the weekend. Then off to Chicago, eeeek!!
 

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Glad you got the 16miler in... how did it feel? Have to say I find people who travel overseas to races to be very brave - I struggle to sort myself out and stay organised enough for local races :lol:
 
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